Apple is about to add a new feature to iPhones informing users if the device was previously repaired and whether a genuine screen or battery was used (via 9to5Mac). A new parts and service history section will appear (under Settings > General > About) with the upcoming iOS 15.2 update for iPhone — providing some insight and peace of mind for buyers of used or refurbished iPhones hoping to get a proper quality OEM unit.
The new update expands on a previous feature that can tell if a screen or battery was not genuine, now adding them in one place and even including a date on when the service was performed. Since the release of the iPhone 11, Apple started including a warning when an aftermarket (ungenuine) screen was installed. Now iPhones as old as XR models can warn if a battery is ungenuine, while iPhone 12 and 13 can call out more including the cameras.
Earlier versions of iOS on the iPhone 13 threatened to make screen repairs more difficult, requiring microsoldering to avoid a warning label and deactivated Face ID sensors. iOS 15.2 updates the process to allow repairs by users or a third-party shop without a complaint from the device.
Buying and selling used iPhones is a huge market, but it can be scary not knowing if a device will have a low-quality aftermarket battery that might overheat — or annoying if the screen you get has terrible colors because it’s not really OLED (when it should be). This could happen if a repair was performed by a third-party shop that is not in Apple’s independent repair program (IRP).
With the announcement of Self Service Repair from Apple, customers will have a means of getting genuine parts and repairing iPhones at home. Since this method of service is supported by Apple, newer iPhones on iOS 15.2 repaired through self-service will acknowledge that a repair was done and the parts are genuine.
Trading in or reselling iPhones might get more difficult, though — if aftermarket parts were used, then companies and independent buyers now have the leverage to quote lower values if a repair is reported in settings. This can lead to very frustrating situations especially if a phone needs to be sent in for inspection to confirm a trade-in value.